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Jerusalem in Affliction
The Sorrows of Captive Zion
1 How lonely sits the city
That was full of people!
How like a widow is she,
Who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces
Has become a slave!
2She weeps bitterly in the night,
Her tears are on her cheeks;
Among all her lovers
She has none to comfort her.
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
They have become her enemies.
3Judah has gone into captivity,
Under affliction and hard servitude;
She dwells among the nations,
She finds no rest;
All her persecutors overtake her in dire straits.
4The roads to Zion mourn
Because no one comes to the set feasts.
All her gates are desolate;
Her priests sigh,
Her virgins are afflicted,
And she is in bitterness.
5Her adversaries have become the master,
Her enemies prosper;
For the LORD has afflicted her
Because of the multitude of her transgressions.
Her children have gone into captivity before the enemy.
6And from the daughter of Zion
All her splendor has departed.
Her princes have become like deer
That find no pasture,
That flee without strength
Before the pursuer.
7In the days of her affliction and roaming,
Jerusalem remembers all her pleasant things
That she had in the days of old.
When her people fell into the hand of the enemy,
With no one to help her,
The adversaries saw her
And mocked at her downfall.
8Jerusalem has sinned gravely,
Therefore she has become vile.
All who honored her despise her
Because they have seen her nakedness;
Yes, she sighs and turns away.
9Her uncleanness is in her skirts;
She did not consider her destiny;
Therefore her collapse was awesome;
She had no comforter.
"O LORD, behold my affliction,
For the enemy is exalted!"
10The adversary has spread his hand
Over all her pleasant things;
For she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary,
Those whom You commanded
Not to enter Your assembly.
11All her people sigh,
They seek bread;
They have given their valuables for food to restore life.
"See, O LORD, and consider,
For I am scorned."
12"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Behold and see
If there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
Which has been brought on me,
Which the LORD has inflicted
In the day of His fierce anger.
13"From above He has sent fire into my bones,
And it overpowered them;
He has spread a net for my feet
And turned me back;
He has made me desolate
And faint all the day.
14"The yoke of my transgressions was bound;
They were woven together by His hands,
And thrust upon my neck.
He made my strength fail;
The Lord delivered me into the hands of those whom I am not able to withstand.
15"The Lord has trampled underfoot all my mighty men in my midst;
He has called an assembly against me
To crush my young men;
The Lord trampled as in a winepress
The virgin daughter of Judah.
16"For these things I weep;
My eye, my eye overflows with water;
Because the comforter, who should restore my life,
Is far from me.
My children are desolate
Because the enemy prevailed."
17Zion spreads out her hands,
But no one comforts her;
The LORD has commanded concerning Jacob
That those around him become his adversaries;
Jerusalem has become an unclean thing among them.
18"The LORD is righteous,
For I rebelled against His commandment.
Hear now, all peoples,
And behold my sorrow;
My virgins and my young men
Have gone into captivity.
19"I called for my lovers,
But they deceived me;
My priests and my elders
Breathed their last in the city,
While they sought food
To restore their life.
20"See, O LORD, that I am in distress;
My soul is troubled;
My heart is overturned within me,
For I have been very rebellious.
Outside the sword bereaves,
At home it is like death.
21"They have heard that I sigh,
But no one comforts me.
All my enemies have heard of my trouble;
They are glad that You have done it.
Bring on the day You have announced,
That they may become like me.
22"Let all their wickedness come before You,
And do to them as You have done to me
For all my transgressions;
For my sighs are many,
And my heart is faint."
God's Anger with Jerusalem
God's Anger with Jerusalem
1 How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion
With a cloud in His anger!
He cast down from heaven to the earth
The beauty of Israel,
And did not remember His footstool
In the day of His anger.
2The Lord has swallowed up and has not pitied
All the dwelling places of Jacob.
He has thrown down in His wrath
The strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
He has brought them down to the ground;
He has profaned the kingdom and its princes.
3He has cut off in fierce anger
Every horn of Israel;
He has drawn back His right hand
From before the enemy.
He has blazed against Jacob like a flaming fire
Devouring all around.
4Standing like an enemy, He has bent His bow;
With His right hand, like an adversary,
He has slain all who were pleasing to His eye;
On the tent of the daughter of Zion,
He has poured out His fury like fire.
5The Lord was like an enemy.
He has swallowed up Israel,
He has swallowed up all her palaces;
He has destroyed her strongholds,
And has increased mourning and lamentation
In the daughter of Judah.
6He has done violence to His tabernacle,
As if it were a garden;
He has destroyed His place of assembly;
The LORD has caused
The appointed feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion.
In His burning indignation He has spurned the king and the priest.
7The Lord has spurned His altar,
He has abandoned His sanctuary;
He has given up the walls of her palaces
Into the hand of the enemy.
They have made a noise in the house of the LORD
As on the day of a set feast.
8The LORD has purposed to destroy
The wall of the daughter of Zion.
He has stretched out a line;
He has not withdrawn His hand from destroying;
Therefore He has caused the rampart and wall to lament;
They languished together.
9Her gates have sunk into the ground;
He has destroyed and broken her bars.
Her king and her princes are among the nations;
The Law is no more,
And her prophets find no vision from the LORD.
10The elders of the daughter of Zion
Sit on the ground and keep silence;
They throw dust on their heads
And gird themselves with sackcloth.
The virgins of Jerusalem
Bow their heads to the ground.
11My eyes fail with tears,
My heart is troubled;
My bile is poured on the ground
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
Because the children and the infants
Faint in the streets of the city.
12They say to their mothers,
"Where is grain and wine?"
As they swoon like the wounded
In the streets of the city,
As their life is poured out
In their mothers' bosom.
13How shall I console you?
To what shall I liken you,
O daughter of Jerusalem?
What shall I compare with you, that I may comfort you,
O virgin daughter of Zion?
For your ruin is spread wide as the sea;
Who can heal you?
14Your prophets have seen for you
False and deceptive visions;
They have not uncovered your iniquity,
To bring back your captives,
But have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions.
15All who pass by clap their hands at you;
They hiss and shake their heads
At the daughter of Jerusalem:
"Is this the city that is called
"The perfection of beauty,
The joy of the whole earth'?"
16All your enemies have opened their mouth against you;
They hiss and gnash their teeth.
They say, "We have swallowed her up!
Surely this is the day we have waited for;
We have found it, we have seen it!|"
17The LORD has done what He purposed;
He has fulfilled His word
Which He commanded in days of old.
He has thrown down and has not pitied,
And He has caused an enemy to rejoice over you;
He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.
18Their heart cried out to the Lord,
"O wall of the daughter of Zion,
Let tears run down like a river day and night;
Give yourself no relief;
Give your eyes no rest.
19"Arise, cry out in the night,
At the beginning of the watches;
Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him
For the life of your young children,
Who faint from hunger at the head of every street."
20"See, O LORD, and consider!
To whom have You done this?
Should the women eat their offspring,
The children they have cuddled?
Should the priest and prophet be slain
In the sanctuary of the Lord?
21"Young and old lie
On the ground in the streets;
My virgins and my young men
Have fallen by the sword;
You have slain them in the day of Your anger,
You have slaughtered and not pitied.
22"You have invited as to a feast day
The terrors that surround me.
In the day of the LORD's anger
There was no refugee or survivor.
Those whom I have borne and brought up
My enemies have destroyed."
The Prophet's Anguish and Hope
Hope and Relief Through God's Mercy
1 I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.
2He has led me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.
3Surely He has turned His hand against me
Time and time again throughout the day.
4He has aged my flesh and my skin,
And broken my bones.
5He has besieged me
And surrounded me with bitterness and woe.
6He has set me in dark places
Like the dead of long ago.
7He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out;
He has made my chain heavy.
8Even when I cry and shout,
He shuts out my prayer.
9He has blocked my ways with hewn stone;
He has made my paths crooked.
10He has been to me a bear lying in wait,
Like a lion in ambush.
11He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces;
He has made me desolate.
12He has bent His bow
And set me up as a target for the arrow.
13He has caused the arrows of His quiver
To pierce my loins.
14I have become the ridicule of all my people--
Their taunting song all the day.
15He has filled me with bitterness,
He has made me drink wormwood.
16He has also broken my teeth with gravel,
And covered me with ashes.
17You have moved my soul far from peace;
I have forgotten prosperity.
18And I said, "My strength and my hope
Have perished from the LORD."
19Remember my affliction and roaming,
The wormwood and the gall.
20My soul still remembers
And sinks within me.
21This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
22Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I hope in Him!"
25The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the LORD.
27It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.
28Let him sit alone and keep silent,
Because God has laid it on him;
29Let him put his mouth in the dust--
There may yet be hope.
30Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him,
And be full of reproach.
31For the Lord will not cast off forever.
32Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.
33For He does not afflict willingly,
Nor grieve the children of men.
34To crush under one's feet
All the prisoners of the earth,
35To turn aside the justice due a man
Before the face of the Most High,
36Or subvert a man in his cause--
The Lord does not approve.
37Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass,
When the Lord has not commanded it?
38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That woe and well-being proceed?
39Why should a living man complain,
A man for the punishment of his sins?
40Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the LORD;
41Let us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven.
42We have transgressed and rebelled;
You have not pardoned.
43You have covered Yourself with anger
And pursued us;
You have slain and not pitied.
44You have covered Yourself with a cloud,
That prayer should not pass through.
45You have made us an offscouring and refuse
In the midst of the peoples.
46All our enemies
Have opened their mouths against us.
47Fear and a snare have come upon us,
Desolation and destruction.
48My eyes overflow with rivers of water
For the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49My eyes flow and do not cease,
50Till the LORD from heaven
Looks down and sees.
51My eyes bring suffering to my soul
Because of all the daughters of my city.
52My enemies without cause
Hunted me down like a bird.
53They silenced my life in the pit
And threw stones at me.
54The waters flowed over my head;
I said, "I am cut off!"
55I called on Your name, O LORD,
From the lowest pit.
56You have heard my voice:
"Do not hide Your ear
From my sighing, from my cry for help."
57You drew near on the day I called on You,
And said, "Do not fear!"
58O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul;
You have redeemed my life.
59O LORD, You have seen how I am wronged;
Judge my case.
60You have seen all their vengeance,
All their schemes against me.
61You have heard their reproach, O LORD,
All their schemes against me,
62The lips of my enemies
And their whispering against me all the day.
63Look at their sitting down and their rising up;
I am their taunting song.
64Repay them, O LORD,
According to the work of their hands.
65Give them a veiled heart;
Your curse be upon them!
66In Your anger,
Pursue and destroy them
From under the heavens of the LORD.
The Degradation of Zion
1 How the gold has become dim!
How changed the fine gold!
The stones of the sanctuary are scattered
At the head of every street.
2The precious sons of Zion,
Valuable as fine gold,
How they are regarded as clay pots,
The work of the hands of the potter!
3Even the jackals present their breasts
To nurse their young;
But the daughter of my people is cruel,
Like ostriches in the wilderness.
4The tongue of the infant clings
To the roof of its mouth for thirst;
The young children ask for bread,
But no one breaks it for them.
5Those who ate delicacies
Are desolate in the streets;
Those who were brought up in scarlet
Embrace ash heaps.
6The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people
Is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom,
Which was overthrown in a moment,
With no hand to help her!
7Her Nazirites were brighter than snow
And whiter than milk;
They were more ruddy in body than rubies,
Like sapphire in their appearance.
8Now their appearance is blacker than soot;
They go unrecognized in the streets;
Their skin clings to their bones,
It has become as dry as wood.
9Those slain by the sword are better off
Than those who die of hunger;
For these pine away,
Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.
10The hands of the compassionate women
Have cooked their own children;
They became food for them
In the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11The LORD has fulfilled His fury,
He has poured out His fierce anger.
He kindled a fire in Zion,
And it has devoured its foundations.
12The kings of the earth,
And all inhabitants of the world,
Would not have believed
That the adversary and the enemy
Could enter the gates of Jerusalem--
13Because of the sins of her prophets
And the iniquities of her priests,
Who shed in her midst
The blood of the just.
14They wandered blind in the streets;
They have defiled themselves with blood,
So that no one would touch their garments.
15They cried out to them,
"Go away, unclean!
Go away, go away,
Do not touch us!"
When they fled and wandered,
Those among the nations said,
"They shall no longer dwell here."
16The face of the LORD scattered them;
He no longer regards them.
The people do not respect the priests
Nor show favor to the elders.
17Still our eyes failed us,
Watching vainly for our help;
In our watching we watched
For a nation that could not save us.
18They tracked our steps
So that we could not walk in our streets.
Our end was near;
Our days were over,
For our end had come.
19Our pursuers were swifter
Than the eagles of the heavens.
They pursued us on the mountains
And lay in wait for us in the wilderness.
20The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD,
Was caught in their pits,
Of whom we said, "Under his shadow
We shall live among the nations."
21Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,
You who dwell in the land of Uz!
The cup shall also pass over to you
And you shall become drunk and make yourself naked.
22The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished,
O daughter of Zion;
He will no longer send you into captivity.
He will punish your iniquity,
O daughter of Edom;
He will uncover your sins!
A Prayer for Restoration
Prayer for Restoration
1 Remember, O LORD, what has come upon us;
Look, and behold our reproach!
2Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens,
And our houses to foreigners.
3We have become orphans and waifs,
Our mothers are like widows.
4We pay for the water we drink,
And our wood comes at a price.
5They pursue at our heels;
We labor and have no rest.
6We have given our hand to the Egyptians
And the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.
7Our fathers sinned and are no more,
But we bear their iniquities.
8Servants rule over us;
There is none to deliver us from their hand.
9We get our bread at the risk of our lives,
Because of the sword in the wilderness.
10Our skin is hot as an oven,
Because of the fever of famine.
11They ravished the women in Zion,
The maidens in the cities of Judah.
12Princes were hung up by their hands,
And elders were not respected.
13Young men ground at the millstones;
Boys staggered under loads of wood.
14The elders have ceased gathering at the gate,
And the young men from their music.
15The joy of our heart has ceased;
Our dance has turned into mourning.
16The crown has fallen from our head.
Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17Because of this our heart is faint;
Because of these things our eyes grow dim;
18Because of Mount Zion which is desolate,
With foxes walking about on it.
19You, O LORD, remain forever;
Your throne from generation to generation.
20Why do You forget us forever,
And forsake us for so long a time?
21Turn us back to You, O LORD, and we will be restored;
Renew our days as of old,
22Unless You have utterly rejected us,
And are very angry with us!
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